What Asian Parents Say About Being LGBTQ

Parents, you can love them or you can hate them. They can love you, support you, nurture you, or they can hate you, neglect you, and ignore you. They can be the most protective figures in your life, or they can be one of the worst things to ever happen to you. They can be your greatest cheerleaders ever, or they can be the most unsupportive individuals you will ever meet.

When it comes to any self-identified LGBTPQ etc., the biggest thing that any individual faces is acceptance, and the biggest one being acceptance of one’s family. This is especially evident when a person decides to come out of the closet to their family. There is a 50/50 risk that any person coming out of the closet faces where he/she can be accepted or rejected.

“I’m gay” – These words mean the world to the person who says this because with the few seconds it takes to utter these words, he/she reveal a part of them that are not always accepted by people such as family especially in Asian culture.

“Child, that’s not normal.”
“How can you have kids?”
“How can you get married?”
“Our relatives and friends can’t know about this”
“It’s a sin to be gay.”
“It’s wrong to like another boy/girl”
“Gays deserve to die and go to hell”
“Gay people are sick”
“Cross dressers are sick”
“It’s just a phase”
“You’ll get over this”
“Did you have an abusive childhood?”
“Why did you choose to be gay/lesbian/transgendered/etc.?”
“Why do you cross dress?”
“You are a shame to the family”
“You’re a disgrace!”

At one point or another, I have personally received variations of some of the listed quotes above. I also know of other people both online and in the real world who have received variations of the phrases listed above. These words by themselves are already painful to hear, and the blow is even worse if it comes from family, which in my case unfortunately, I’m no exception. Asian culture is a collectivist culture, meaning that we are not individualistic like our Western counterparts, and a common trend within a collectivist culture is that families tend to stick together until old age. To lose family and be rejected by the very same people who brought you to this world and nurtured you growing up is a very hard and tough reality to swallow especially if your family is a vital part of your identity. Plain simple, it hurts a lot to hear hurtful words from your family you love so dearly.

Two things can happen in this case: your family can either accept you (which is super awesome!) or they can reject you. There will always be people who will accept and love you for who you are, and those individuals are family too although they may not necessarily be your biological relatives. Just give your family time, and they may eventually accept you or not depending on whether they are willing to change and understand. No matter what happens, be strong and stay strong for there will always be people who will love you, support you, and do anything for you and your happiness simply because they love you for who you are and believe that you are beautiful and amazing just the way you are.

Author: Thoughts Of A Queer Asian

Thoughts of A Queer is a site that started back in 2009 as an outlet for me to write about my Coming Out story and my journey as a queer Asian woman. When not writing, I work in the healthcare field, tend to my dogs and cat, and live happily with my wife in our beautiful home.

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